Louis Tomlinson got his feet wet on the other side of “The X Factor UK” Six Chair Challenge judging table as he made some tough decisions for his talented Boys team and the action unfolded here in the U.S. last night (Oct. 1) on AXS TV.
Louis knows the pressure of the competition all too well – and especially the nail-biting twists and turns of the dreaded Six Chair Challenge from his life-changing experience which launched his global music career with One Direction in 2010. Now he’s trying to help a whole new batch of hopefuls make their dreams come true and he realized just how hard the judging decision really is when you’re holding someone’s fate in your hands.
Robbie Williams kicked off the hour-long episode by forming an unexpected group with his wife Ayda’s Overs category castoffs Panda Ross and Burgandy Williams. He called them back to the stage, outlined his plan and they delivered a magical moment with an astounding duet of “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman.” The two powerhouse R & B singers will now join Robbie in The Groups category moving forward.
As for the Boys, a couple of underwhelming performances from previous standouts made Louis wince a little at turning some contenders away. The broadcast ended, though, in a nail-biting cliffhanger in which Louis’ Golden X winner is waiting to find out whose filled seat he’s going to take.
Shaky Start and Six Seats Full
Unfortunately, lovable teacher Joshie Cotton kicked things off for the Boys with a shaky rendition of an original song. But, Louis gave him the first seat in spite of it. Indie artist Nathan Grisdale followed and he delivered the perfect song that fits right in his wheelhouse with his passionate rendition of “Say Something” by A Great Big World. “I wanted a fight from you and that’s exactly what you gave me,” a smiling Louis told him as he also advised him to take the next seat.
Singer-songwriter Tommy Ludford hit the stage with his guitar to delight the audience and judges with an original Ed Sheeran-esque song “Dippin’ Biscuits.” It was quirky and clever and really well-delivered until Tommy scared everyone by falling off the stage. Louis ran to make sure he was okay and thankfully, all was well. He won the next seat.
Corey Sean came next with a perky rendition of Meghan Trainor’s hit “All About That Bass.” It was arguably weak and didn’t measure up to the other contenders. However, he earned a seat anyway. We’re already thinking he won’t keep it.
Armstrong Martins and Anthony Russell are arguably two of the strongest vocalists on the Boys team. They were both stunning. Armstrong sang “Flying Without Wings” like his life depended on it and Anthony followed with an amazing delivery of “With a Little Help From My Friends.” As a comeback contender who Louis personally took under his wing, the chair meant even more to Anthony. Six chairs were full and this is when it always gets tough.
Seat No. 1 Gets Multiple Swaps
We were all shocked when Felix Shepherd delivered a pitchy, horrible rendition of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and Louis was genuinely pained to deny him a seat. But, he encouraged him to come back and try again.
Aeo was up next, complete with backing vocalists and dancers for an original song. Not our cup of tea, but, Louis liked it enough to give him Joshie Cotton’s seat. Ollie Swain followed with an incredible acoustic rendition of TLC’s “No Scrubs.” His beautiful tone shined through the song and Aeo was instantly taken out of the seat he had claimed and replaced by Ollie.
Brenday Murray was the last contender in the episode and he absolutely slayed a rendition of R.E.M.’s aching ballad, “Everybody Hurts.” His tone is completely unique and beautiful. He received a four-judge standing ovation and Simon Cowell said, “In my opinion, you’re in a completely different league than everyone we’ve seen so far.” Louis told him he wanted to talk to him, and on the way to the stage, he smashed the Golden X, which guarantees Brendan a place at Judges’ Houses. The only problem is, we don’t know whose seat he will take, because the credits rolled at Louis and Brendan’s hug.
“The X Factor UK” airs in the U.S. on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on AXS TV.